“No thank you” say cops to million rand bribe

Warrant Officer Jay Marian and Sergeant Leroy Boucher of the dog unit refused a R1 million bribe each from drug dealer Moses Mncwabe Picture: Byrone Athman

The late Thursday shift started off like any other day for Warrant Officer Jay Marian and Sergeant Leroy Boucher of the SAPS Dog Unit as they patrolled the streets of Pietermaritzburg. At around four-thirty on Friday morning the two officers stumbled upon an expensive white Range Rover that had suffered a serious tyre blow-out.

As they approached the vehicle to offer assistance, little did they realize the stranded motorist would turn out to be none other than a suspect long believed to be a key supplier of illicit drugs in the city and that they were about to stumble upon one of the largest drug hauls ever made in the city.

“His window was down when we went to inspect the car and I noticed a lot of cash on the floor. I thought this was suspicious and asked him if he had anything illegal in the car to which he calmly replied ‘yes’ recalled Sergeant Boucher.

Warrant Officer Marian says they were surprised the alleged dealer remained so calm despite being found a huge consignment of cocaine being found in the car together with the cash.

“He was absolutely calm despite us finding the drug stash in the Range Rover and he casually said he could sort us out and offered us ‘one each’ if we let him go. I asked him ‘one each of what?’ and he replied ‘one million rand each’. We were surprised but we are not that kind of policemen,” explained Marian saying they then cuffed the suspect and placed him under arrest while calling in the incident.

This is not the first time Boucher and Marian have been offered bribes while doing their duty.

“People have offered us bribes over the years but we are here to serve and do not entertain corruption,” the officers said.

 

When the alleged drug dealers million rand each offer to the policemen was scorned, his calm demeanor broke and in desperation offered to sell the luxury Range Rover and add the proceeds of the sale to initial bribe.

The arrested suspect, his vehicle and the drugs and cash was taken back to the station.  Warrant Officer Sheik was one of the officers who helped quantify the haul.

“Together with the arresting officers we had to read out each serial number on the money notes and this had to be entered as exhibits. There were 927 notes worth just under R100 000, all of which had to be manually recorded,” explained Sheik adding that the process took them around eight hours to complete.

The cocaine is estimated to be worth R1.5 million on the street.

The alleged dealer remained in custody for the long weekend and appeared in court yesterday (Tuesday). The matter was remanded with the suspect remaining in custody.

Mountain Rise station spokeswoman Captain Gay Ebrahim said the actions of the two officers reflected the pride with which they served the community.

“We are proud of our officers for being alert in spotting the cash and then searching the vehicle. Their moral stance reflects the ethos of what it means to be a police officer and to serve,” said Ebrahim.

  AUTHOR
Byrone Athman
Journalist

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